Getting to a concert venue after the start time listed on the ticket is the norm in Hong Kong, especially when you have seats. Some acts make you wait for an hour. Astonishingly, Against the Current started performing at Macpherson Stadium less than 10 minutes after the start time.
The concert was certainly off to a good start - AtC deserves mad props for being punctual, for getting the crowd pumped up and head-banging by opening with one of their singles, Infinity.
They're a pop-rock band - they look the part of any band from the time when rock bands would get their big break from MySpace, when pretty much the only way to make it was through touring non-stop - but the emphasis is on pop, especially when it comes to lyrics. Take Closer, Faster for example - "You know we'd be so much better/If we could fall in love together/Pull me closer, kiss me faster/Take me to your happily ever after". It's super cute, don't get me wrong, but it's not rock.
Even though AtC and Alex Goot were co-headlining their first Asia/Australia tour, AtC felt more like an opening band - they ran off stage after a brief 30-minute set, and it didn't help that there was a 15-minute break before Goot finally appeared.
At that point, I wasn't so sure the wait was worth it - the crowd was a tad subdued, and it took a while for Goot to get the crowd moving again. Goot might say that he is better known for his originals, but it seemed like the crowd knew more of the words for The Fray's How to Save a Life than his opener, Right Where I Belong.
One of the highlights of his set was his performance of Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer - his vocals were stellar, and his on-stage chemistry with Chrissy Costanza, the lead singer of AtC, was so much fun to watch. And their performance wouldn't be complete without a rendition of Good Time, and boy, did they deliver.
Goot might be more established on YouTube, but there's no denying that the show was all about Costanza. So imagine the crowd's disappointment when she didn't come out for the encore.
We all love Goot, but the screams for Costanza seemed far louder. Yes, she performed briefly with Goot during his set, but being a no-show for the encore was anti-climatic - everyone else was on stage, the rest of AtC providing accompaniment for Goot. The encore was nice, but not particularly memorable …
There's a reason people say "save the best for last". These guys seem to have forgotten.